The Center for Hearing and Communication's Mobile Hearing Unit provides hearing health education and services to companies and organizations throughout NYC. A recent visit to The Rochdale Village Senior Center inspired this article by Mikell Richards, originally published in The Rochdale Village Bulletin (December 2023).
CHC's Mobile Unit Visits Rochdale Village
Have you passed by the Security gate near Mall 1 and seen a Mobile Hearing van parked? Well, it's there for a very specific and important reason.
The Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) is a non-profit organization over a century old with a big focus on reaching the needs of many within the community. Started in 1910, CHC completes its work in more than one location, with a base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as Downtown Manhattan. CHC, originally known as the League for the Hard of Hearing, serves more than 15,000 people of all ages annually.
Making Hearing Health a Priority
While CHC provides those in need with a long list of services such as emotional health and wellness, education, a Family Resource Center and many outreach programs, their focus is undoubtedly audiology, speech, and language. Their mission is to provide high-quality, comprehensive services to empower people affected by hearing loss, deafness or listening challenges. It's an amazing purpose, especially when hearing isn't always a health priority until it is too late. Their mobile program generally reaches out to preschools and older adult centers, and spans throughout New York with an emphasis on the NYC area. The van usually visits a specific location a minimum of three times to try to reach as many people in that location as possible.
Providing Hearing Health Care and Education
In connecting with The Rochdale Village Senior Center, CHC arranged to have a mobile van that is used for appointments parked near the Public Safety gate for a few hours. Seniors of the community were then able to sign up with the Center in advance, scheduling their appointments with Audiologist Shelby Platia, Au.D., CCC-A. Dr. Shelby Platia is serious about the importance of seniors taking steps towards staying on top of their hearing. "Personally speaking, it is rewarding to be able to work with various older adult centers to provide hearing health education, screenings, and evaluations. For many individuals we see, it is their first step toward addressing their hearing concerns. To be able to bridge that gap and help them along the way is part of why the program is so important."
Some Hadn't Had a Hearing Test Since High School
So far, CHC has done multiple screenings at Rochdale Village with a couple more planned. When asked about bringing the Mobile Unit to Rochdale Village, Senior Center Director Sheree Shivers had this to say: "In speaking with some of the seniors, we came to realize that there was a need. Some of them hadn't had a hearing test since it was last required of them, in high school."
After the first date that the mobile van visited and took appointments, many of those who made appointments found that they had wax buildup or other conditions that required follow up appointments. This has motivated the Senior Center to plan for more dates where the van could be available, during the summer, and annually after that.
Address Your Hearing Health Needs Today
If you have hearing concerns, CHC recommends that you consider following up with an audiologist. You can ask your primary care physician for a referral in your area or contact CHC. They also offer a free online hearing screening. Take the time out to check in on your hearing.
CHC's Mobile Program is Here for You
CHC's Mobile Hearing Program is available to provide hearing health education and services to companies and organizations throughout NYC. If you're part of a community whose members could benefit from CHC's hearing health expertise and services, visit CHC's Mobile Hearing Program page or contact CHC's Carolyn Stern to learn more.